How Henry Ford and the Model T Changed Our World [Infographic]
There is no denying the impact the Ford Model T has on America and the world. Before Henry Ford makes his car affordable for the masses, travel is done primarily by horse and people rarely travel far. Our infographic highlights events throughout this amazing car’s production that illustrate the effect it has on our history. Share this factsheet with your friends and test your knowledge.
“I will build a motorcar for the great multitudes,” Henry Ford proclaims when he establishes the Ford Motor Company in 1903. You have to wonder if the great man himself has any idea the monumental impact this car would have on society. Transportation, production, education and social mores are all transformed once America takes to the highways.
The Model T is the first mass produced car. Lightweight and durable, it can handle the rutted dirty roads of rural America and is easily repaired by owners. It does have its issues, though. The crank shaft often pops back, breaking a driver’s arm. Yet, by 1918 over half of all cars sold in the U.S are Model T cars.
Built with a 4-cylinder 20 hp engine, the Model T has a top speed of 45 mph. This sounds great until you realize the car is built with no safety features like seat belts. The body isn’t designed to absorb the impact from a crash and the 10-gallon gas tank is located under the front seat. Drivers risk it all for the freedom the Model T offers.
Creature comforts don’t exist on the Model T. Early models are open-sided carriages with no heat. Henry Ford famously states an owner could “order their car in any color as long as that color was black.” From 1914 until 1925, the ‘Tin Lizzy’ only comes in black, which is cheaper and faster drying than other paint colors.
Ford revolutionizes assembly line production for his cars. Every 93 minutes a new Model T rolls off the line. He raises the minimum wage for his workers to five dollars, twice that of other auto workers. His plants run three shifts 24 hours a day in order to meet worldwide demand. At the height of production, Ford employs 13,000 workers.
The societal changes that Ford unleashes helps to create the middle class in America and gives people greater opportunities by opening up the world to them. Ford’s vow of “democratizing the automobile” is realized with the Model T and is solidified with his next car, the Model A.
In 1927 the Model A begins to phase out the Model T and soon the last Tin Lizzy rolls off the line. By making his car affordable for all, Henry Ford changes the way the world lives, works and travels. Once a luxury item available only to the wealthy, the automobile soon becomes a necessity for working class Americans. The Ford Model T helps transition the world into a brighter future.
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